Bishnu S. Atal

Bishnu S. Atal
Bishnu S.
Electrical Engineering
Benjamin Franklin Medal
Shannon Laboratories | Florham Park, New Jersey
For his important work on voice coding, including the concept of speech analysis-by-synthesis coding, leading to the CELP (Code-excited Linear Predictive) Coder.

The next time you make a call on your cell phone, think of Bisnu Atal, who is internationally recognized for his pioneering work on Linear Predictive Coding (LPC) methods that analyze and synthesize speech signals, which provided not only higher quality digital speech, but also dramatically expanded the benefits of cellular phone technology to millions of users.

His invention reduced the bandwidth required to send high-quality speech signals on narrow-band channels. By reducing the size of the bandwidth, Atal dramatically expanded the carrying capacity of the limited area of the electromagnetic spectrum used by the cellular users.

Atal holds 16 U.S. and numerous international patents in speech processing. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, and is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Signal Processing Society Award and the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award of the R&D Council of New Jersey.

Born in India, Atal earned his B. S. in physics from the University of Lucknow, India, in 1952; a diploma in electrical communication engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, in 1955; and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, New York in 1968.

By taking only the most important part of the voice signal, Dr. Atal created the method of linear prediction.

Requiring more powerful processors, Dr. Atal's patented digital speech coder pushed the limits of the semi-conductor industry at the time.

In the 1980s, cell phones became more popular, so the networks became full. Dr. Atal helped compress digital speech so less information needed to travel across the busy networks.

Information as of April 2003